Monday, June 30, 2014

A Little of This and That

I was given a roll of inexpensive polyester batting to use for quilting Project Linus quilts for a LQS.  I tried it out today and it was just OK – not great by any means.  It was uneven (as to loft) and occasionally had tiny bumps or clumps of polyester that the needle would hit and break the bobbin thread.  Only a few times, but enough to make me stay away from this type of batting in the future.  The panto I used was called Asian Vines, by Anne Bright.  This is the finish (the local group does the trimming and binding):


Speaking of flowers, these are my flowers in bloom that make you happy looking at them:

Crepe Myrtles are thick this year


I was going to trim that Penta bush down to the ground because it was getting leggy, but never got around to it – can’t do it while it’s blooming so nicely!

I can’t say I am the world’s best cook – actually I can’t say I’m good at cooking at all!  But I made this Easy Italian Artichoke-Bacon Pie from a Betty Crocker cookbook from the library.  All of the recipes are under 300 calories – something I’m seeking out right now.  This was pretty tasty - a tiny bit spicy - good with a tossed salad (yes, I've been eating the dreaded lettuce):

And this was the little voyeur of the week at the Chemo Room. 
Little squirrel in the circle
I think she had a nest tucked in behind that giant staghorn fern.  I told her I was there with a Nut, but I really didn’t bring any extras.  My DH was not amused.  But he is doing well especially as he continues to put up with me!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Non-Sewing Day

I volunteered to escort a little Flat Stanley around for a young Boy Scout who’s Mom is a quilter in Minnesota.  So they sent me a sample Flat guy and I colored him up to go visiting here in Florida.

Today’s visit and Kodak moments were in Dunedin, FL.  First a little background:
Dunedin is on the west-central coast of Florida bordering the Gulf of Mexico.  It is the sister city of Stirling, Scotland and cherishes its Scottish roots.  Learn more at this site:,_Florida

A few highlights of Flat Stanley’s visit:

Flat Stanley was first introduced to a Highlander playing the bagpipes, so Stanley had to try it out on his own set of pipes.

I’m afraid that poor Stanley wasn’t very good at it, so he decided to climb the Welcome Sign instead – can you spot him?

Then Stanley started to explore Dunedin – on the outskirts of Downtown is the Spring training stadium for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.

Right in downtown Dunedin there is a wall mural by Anna Hamilton on the side of a restaurant that supports the Dunedin Doggie Rescue group – Stanley thought he’d look good in a photo with all these puppies – check out the name on the mural – Dogedin!

Also right downtown is the old Railroad Depot where Stanley decided to climb onto the luggage cart – get down from there Stanley!

It was a very hot day, so Stanley ducked into the Orange CafĂ© that is located in an old railroad car … Stanley ordered an ice cold lemonade.

Then Stanley left downtown and wandered over to watch the boats go by on the Gulf of Mexico.  Since there was a stiff breeze, Stanley couldn’t catch a sailboat in his picture, but they were out there!

Altogether, it was a very nice day for Stanley.  I expect Stanley will be out and about again next weekend.  As for me – I’m pooped!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Design Change?

It is so easy to spot an error after a quilt is done beyond the point of getting it fixed.  I was quilting this top for my Quilts of Valor group and oops!  Out pops the block turned the wrong way – now clearly visible and way too late to turn it round properly.  So now it’s called a Design Change, right?!

I made all of the half-square triangles to use up the leftover 4-patches from the quilt design we used last year.  Several other of the ladies laid out the squares on the design wall and sewed together the rows.  This simple top needed something to cut the linear aspects, so I quilted it with the traditional Baptist Fans to add some curves.  I won’t tell about the oops! if you don’t!

I turned this in last Monday when I was able to drop in at the meeting for an hour or so.  Then we went to my DH’s medical treatments – this was the view outside of the Chemo Room.

A little voyeur (a lizard) was looking in and wondering why everybody is sitting in the comfy chairs.  Little did he know.   I tried to get a photo of a little blue heron that kept going back and forth outside these same windows, but by the time I’d grab the camera, he’d disappear again.  I think he was a Disney creation, put there to distract me – it worked …

This is a lovely plumeria blossom – the tree was just loaded with them, but that photo didn’t turn out well.   Just imagine all of those splotchy things are pretty flowers 'cause they are!

There are some of these in my area, but they grow so much better a little south of us.  I met a friend for brunch last weekend down in St Pete Beach and had to capture this lovely flower.  PS  Had French Toast - it was great, but I won't be having it again for a long time ... WW is suspicious because I'm gaining and not losing weight - tee hee!

Friday, June 13, 2014

National Sewing Machine Day

Celebrated annually on June 13, it is National Sewing Machine Day.   This day honors the invention of the sewing machine.  It is hard to imagine having to sew things together by hand….. stitch by stitch.
Skilled cabinet-maker and English inventor, Thomas Saint, received the first patent for a design of a sewing machine in 1790.  It was meant for leather and canvas, was never advertised and no evidence of it, other than his drawings, could be found.   In 1874, William Newton Wilson found Saint’s drawings in the London Patent Office, made adjustments and built a working model.  This model is currently owned by the London Science Museum.
  • Walter Hunt invented the first American lockstitch sewing machine in 1832.
  • John Greenough patented the first sewing machine in the United States in 1842.
Industrial use of the sewing machine reduced the burden that was placed upon housewives, moving clothing production from them and seamstresses to large-scale factories.  This also resulted in a decrease in production time which caused the price of clothing to drop considerably.
Today, many people are again becoming interested in the art of sewing and making their own clothing.  Crafts fairs and flea markets are filled with booths full of beautiful sewing machine-made clothes along with  numerous other sewing machine-made items.
Quilters across America are known as sewing machine experts!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Within our research, we were unable to find the creator and the origin of National Sewing Machine Day, an “unofficial” National holiday.
For more great information on these and other holidays, check out the “Queen of Holidays” Jace Shoemaker-Galloway at


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Love Boxes

Boxes that are ready to be sent off the Wrap-a-Smile, that is!  This stack is now all boxed up and ready to mail tomorrow. 
Three of these tops were made by Beth and one was made by Sarah L, members of my Sunshine On-line Quilt Guild.  One was made by me – who’s the slacker now?!  I guess I can be excused because I quilted them all, but I have to get crackin’ on making some tops myself … they’re great fun, too.

These are the finished ones from Beth – I showed the detail of the quilting on these in this post:

And I showed Sarah’s quilt in this post:

And this was where I posted about mine:

And finally, these are the nature shots of the day.  The sago palm is now blooming below the Robellini Palms that I showed blooming earlier.  And my Peace Lily is a happy camper.  You can’t see all of them, but it now has 5 blooms on it.  It’s very happy outside under a tree in dappled sunlight.

More sewing fun tomorrow!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Some Gardening – Only a Little Sewing

I did get some work done in the yard this past week, but very little sewing until this weekend.  We’re right on the edge of “it’s too darn hot to be in the yard!” around here.  I’ve had to get out in the morning and I’m just not a morning person.  But the yard will be looking better soon.  My neighbor has some gorgeous cone flowers:

We’ve had lots of Monarch butterflies this year but I’ve only seen one caterpillar and he didn’t eat much – must have been ready to cocoon.  I’d like to get more plants that Monarchs, Swallowtails and Sulphurs like – gonna have to look that up.

Back at the beginning of the week, I did finish up the monkey panto on Beth’s quilt top – I put vines at the bottom for the monkeys:

Now I have three of Beth’s that I need to put bindings on and I will have a box ready to go off to Wrap-a-Smile.

And then yesterday and this morning, I quickly did up these two little quilts for Project Linus.  I just do the quilting for them – they do the binding (yea!), so I turned them back in at the LQS today.  
This one has a floral panto called Sunday by Anne Bright Designs:


And this one has a panto called Cotton Candy, also by Anne Bright Designs.  I don’t know where people get these cute panels – I love these animals.  And if you’ll notice, the horse has a Blue Ribbon, reminding me of the State Fair, hence the “Cotton Candy” panto!  Yes, there is method to my madness, sometimes!